The picture above is my daughter, Ruchi, in the frame shop. It is her art that is laying on the table. When we first brought Ruchi home from New Delhi at the age of eight she was a prodigious colorer, going through many coloring books. As the years unfolded she did less and less. It was clear she had a talent for art, but it was so hard to get her to invest in classes. I guess when you are nine and ten, and still figuring out how to fit into a family after living in an orphanage, art is not exactly front of mind.
But, I saw her doodles. She was always making little pictures of animals, girls, and goddesses. The art seeped out of her without any intent. Her color choices were wonderful. Each drawing I found, I squirreled away as parents do.
When we had a family celebration like Mother’s Day or my birthday, we always received a drawing from Ruchi. She was keeping her skill alive. If we mentioned classes, we got a firm, “No!”
My wife kept at it and after a few failed attempts at outside art classes, she located an Indian woman who was an artist herself and taught a very small class in her home. Ruchi went reluctantly at first. But, then I noticed she was filling a sketchbook on her own. And the projects in her art class grew in scope. It seems we have finally landed a teacher that my daughter looks forward to learning from. So, when her first major piece was finished, I took Ruchi to the art store to preserve it in a form that we can hang on the wall. And in the process, I hope I sent the message that we value her artistic pursuits.
What might you do this week to honor an area you are cultivating in yourself or someone close to you?
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”
John F. Kennedy